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Josh Frydenberg - Liberal for Kooyong
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Second Turnbull Government supported virtual power plant

Published: Wednesday, 28 March 2018

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The Turnbull Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), is supporting the development of a virtual power plant in Adelaide to reduce power prices for South Australian households and help energy network companies improve reliability of the electricity grid.

The $23 million trial, to which the Turnbull Government is contributing $7.7 million, will see Simply Energy deliver up to 1200 batteries to homes with rooftop solar systems, providing 6MW worth of energy storage. A further 2MW worth of demand response capacity will be delivered via businesses.

This investment builds on $5 million provided to AGL Energy in March 2017 for a $20 million 5MW virtual power plant of 1000 households and businesses also in Adelaide.

“The Simply Energy project benefits both individual Adelaide households and the broader South Australian community,” Minister Frydenberg said.

“Households can use more energy generated from their own rooftop solar systems to lower their power bills and the community reaps the benefits of a more stable grid.”

A virtual power plant is a centrally-managed network of battery systems installed behind-the-meter that can be collectively controlled.

The trial will give energy network companies greater visibility of behind-the-meter battery storage and access to those batteries to manage demand and address local network constraints. It will allow electricity to be discharged to homes in times of peak demand and provide contingency power in the event of a network outage.

“Consumers are increasingly taking up renewable energy, battery storage and more energy efficient technologies in order to manage their household energy bills,” Minister Frydenberg said.

“This uptake is driving change in the electricity market and leading to a more distributed grid.

“That’s why the Turnbull Government is focused on improving the reliability of South Australia’s energy system through storage.

“The Marshall Government also recognises this need, having committed $100 million towards the installation of household batteries.”

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